The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created the Occupational safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the Department of Labor that is responsible for reducing workplace hazards and implementing workplace safety and health programs. OSHA safety standards apply to all work sites.
As a construction worker, your worksite has inherent dangers. Nearly 20% of on-the-job accidents occur at construction sites. And, ten percent of all construction site workers are injured on-the-job. So, it is important that you understand your rights and your employers obligation to provide a safe workplace. You should also know what to do if your employer is not living up to those obligations.
Under OSHA regulations, your employer must:
• Display in a prominent place the official OSHA poster that describes rights and responsibilities
• Provide work and a workplace free from recognized hazards
• Inform the employees of any OSHA safety and health standards that apply to the work site
• Have a written, comprehensive hazard communication program that includes container labeling, accessible and available material safety data sheets (MSDS), and appropriate employee safety training.
• Inform employees of the existence, location and availability of medical and hazardous material exposure records at the beginning of employment and annually. These records must be provided to the employee upon request.
As an employee, you have rights. You have the right to:
• Receive all training needed to protect your safety as you do your job.
• Have access to appropriate safety and life-saving equipment and supplies.
• Review copies of the safety standards, rules, regulations and requirements for the workplace. These must be available to you.
• Have access to your medical and hazardous material exposure records.
If you recognize a hazard in your workplace, you have the right to contact an OSHA area office or state office and file a written complaint. If OSHA determines that there is a possible safety violation, hazardous conditions, or a danger to workers, the office will conduct an inspection. If they conduct an inspection, the employees or employee union have the right to have an authorized employee representative accompany the OSHA compliance officer during the safety inspection. This representative must not be chosen by the employer.
After the inspection, the OSHA inspector will meet with the employer and employee representative to discuss any hazards found and how to address them.
If you sign and file a written complaint with OSHA, you have the right to have your name withheld from your employer. You also have the right to be free of any retaliation or discrimination from your employer as a result of filing an OSHA complaint.
If you are injured while on-the-job in Kansas City, contact the personal injury attorneys at the Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys. We have helped many construction site injury victims just like you to get fair compensation after a workplace accident. Request your copy of our FREE book, 10 Essential Steps You Must Take to Protect Your Injury Claim – How You Can Escape the Personal Injury Trap.